Michigan softball opens Super Regional at Alabama on Thursday
The Michigan softball team continues its quest for an 10th trip to the Women’s College World Series when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Thursday to start a best-of-three Super Regional series with Alabama.
Dates and times for the Super Regional were announced Monday by the NCAA. The teams play their first game at 8 p.m. Thursday (ESNP2) and meet again at 4:30 p.m. Friday (ESPNU).
If necessary, a third game would be played at 7 p.m. Friday and be broadcast by ESPN2.
The Crimson Tide (53-7), looking for their fourth trip to the Women’s College World Series in five years, are the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. This will be Alabama’s eighth straight Super Regional appearance and the fifth consecutive series played on its home field at Rhoads Stadium.
Michigan (42-15) had its streak of seven straight regional titles snapped last season, but is back in the Super Regional round after eliminating No. 15 seed Louisville on its home field.
“They’re powerful,” Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said of Alabama. “They’re speedy. They’ve got great pitching. They’ve got great coaching. They’re definitely a tough opponent.”
The teams last played in 2010, when they split a pair of games.
"It will be fun to get to see (Michigan) again," Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said after his team beat South Alabama in a regional final. "I know that they will have a great team."
The winner of the eight Super Regionals around the country qualify for the Women’s College World Series, played May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City.
Michigan last qualified for the world series in 2009, when it finished tied for fifth. The Wolverines won a national championship in 2005.